PRESS RELEASE : RIBA SUPPORTS ISRAELI ARCHITECTS ASSOCIATION’S SUSPENSION FROM INTERNATIONAL BODY, THE UIA
In a highly significant move, after a tough and passionate Council debate on 19 March 2014, the pillar of the UK’s architects’ professional institute, the Royal Institute of British Architects , the RIBA, passed the motion supporting action that should be taken by the International Union Of Architects’ to suspend the Israeli Association of United Architects (IAUA) from the world body of architects, the International Union of Architects (UIA). The Motion was passed by 23 votes to 16 with 10 abstentions.
The Resolution that was passed said:
“Since the Israeli Association of United Architects (IAUA) has paid no regard to the UIA resolution 13 of 2005 and 2009, the RIBA calls on the UIA, as the international guardian of professional and ethical standards in our profession, to suspend the membership of the Israeli Association of United Architects, until it acts to resist these illegal projects, and observes international law, the UIA Accords and Resolution 13.”
The campaign initiated and worked for over seven years by Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine (APJP) was brought to fruition by great teamwork and by the courageous action of the RIBA’s past President Angela Brady and active Council members George Oldham and Owen O’Carroll who tabled the motion signed by many RIBA members and registered architects including leading lights in the profession that included Ted Cullinan, Charles Jencks, Will Alsop, Peter Ahrends , Neave Brown and Richard Murphy.
The RIBA was pipped to the post earlier in the week by the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) the sister organization which passed a similar resolution also requested by Angela Brady, an honorary fellow of RIAS, based on the RIBA Motion, a landmark decision.
Angela Brady, last year's President of the RIBA
The building of illegal settlements against Article 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention which prohibits the transfer of a civilian population into territory occupied by force is considered a serious breach and thus as war crimes in which Israeli architects are closely involved. This settlement expansion has resulted in the forced removal or thousands of Palestinians and expropriation of their homes and land, and the erasure of their culture and history that has been going on since 1967 with impunity, despite repeated worldwide condemnation.
APJP’s persistent prompting of the UIA to take action on these breaches of human rights and the ethical codes of practice in the UIA Accords resulted in ‘Resolution 13’ being confirmed in 2009 to condemn such illegal projects. “The UIA Council condemns development projects and the construction of buildings on land that has been ethnically purified or illegally appropriated, and projects based on regulations that are ethnically or culturally discriminatory, and similarly it condemns all action contravening the fourth Geneva Convention”.
This met with complete detachment and refusal to act on or condemn by the Israeli Association of United Architects (IAUA) who insisted it was only concerned with design and not the political actions of its members. Yet the whole real-estate enterprise is closely tied in with Israel’s political and military agenda to grab and hold as much land as possible, denying a fully sovereign Palestinian state.
2013 was record year in new settlement construction, and the 2014 rate is already higher, seeing the construction of 2534 housing projects, with over 550,000 Jewish Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank. Meanwhile Palestinian live in tightly controlled enclaves enclosed by the illegal Separation Wall and segregated roads, denied permission to build and instead having their houses taken over or demolished -all reminiscent of Apartheid South Africa.
Not to have acted would have made the RIBA silent and condoning this grave misconduct of their professional associates. By sending a clear message to the IAUA, and UIA, the RIBA and the RIAS strike a blow for the integrity and ethical practice of our profession, and supports the Palestinian civil society call for sanctions against the impunity of Israel.
Abe Hayeem, RIBA
Chair, Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine
For further information
FULL TEXT OF THE MOTION AND SIGNATORIES
MOTION TO RIBA COUNCIL 19 MARCH 2014
Continue to Condone?
As seen in the world media in the past few months, there is increasing concern and condemnation worldwide over the illegal settlement-building by the Israelis to house nearly 600,000 Israeli settlers on Palestinian land, against international law.
There is mounting pressure for us not to continue to condone what we as a profession find unacceptable, where projects are being created on occupied land that defy the rights and international agreements made between Israel and Palestine since Oslo in 1993, and passed in numerous UN Resolutions since 1967.
Israel's colonial settlement policy, has continued relentlessly over the last 5 decades in the Occupied Palestinian Territory including East Jerusalem. The active collaboration of architects and planners has been central to the creation of hundreds of illegal settlements in serious breaches of the 4th Geneva Convention which prohibits a state from moving its civilians into territories it occupies. Further, ‘Judaisation’ projects within Israel itself, in the Negev desert and Galilee involving the dispossession of thousands of Palestinian citizens -including Bedouin, to create new Jewish settlements, are now being implemented against vociferous public protest. All of these projects involve Architects, Planners and Construction team to create them.
Worst Years of Abuse
2013 has been declared one of the worst years in human rights abuses and violence against the Palestinian people under Israel’s military rule. Amnesty International’s latest report documents Israel’s killings and brutalization of Palestinians in the West Bank over a three-year period, during peaceful protests against the illegal Separation Wall and the expropriation or their village land to expand Israeli settlements.
UIA's Resolution 13 passed at Istanbul in 2005 and re-confirmed at Brazil in 2009 states that “The UIA Council condemns development projects and the construction of buildings on land that has been ethnically purified or illegally appropriated, and projects based on regulations that are ethnically or culturally discriminatory, and similarly it condemns all action contravening the fourth Geneva Convention”.
Many representations concerning these projects, involving discriminatory Israeli law, have been made to the Israeli Association of United Architects (IAUA), which has detached itself from it's members’ continuing activities against professional ethics and the UIA Accords. The RIBA await acknowledgment of our letter of 28 Feb 2014. In fact the illegal settlement policy has accelerated in defiance of peace talks, severely compromising any possibility of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state. The UIA, having made its position clear, must now act on the violation of it’s code of ethics and defiance of it’s resolution.
Since the Israeli Association of United Architects (IAUA) has paid no regard to the UIA resolution 13 of 2005 and 2009, the RIBA calls on the UIA, as the international guardian of professional and ethical standards in our profession, to suspend the membership of the Israeli Association of United Architects, until it acts to resist these illegal projects, and observes international law, the UIA Accords and Resolution 13.
Angela Brady, PPRIBA FRIAI FRSA
Ted Cullinan, CBE, FRIBA RA
Will Alsop RA OBE, FRIBA
Charles Jencks, Architect, Historian
Neave Brown, FRIBA, Architect
Peter Ahrends, FRIBA
Richard Murphy, OBE, RIBA, RIAS
Hans Haenlein, RIBA, OBE
Cezary Bednarski, RIBA
Abe Hayeem, RIBA, Chair, Architects & Planners for Justice in Palestine (APJP)
Jeremy Till, RIBA, Head of SMCAD, Pro-Vice Chancellr UAL
Murray Fraser, Architect, Bartlett School of Architecture
Gordon Murray, PPRIAS, RIBA MIArb RTPI, Prof. Strathclyde Uni.
John Warren, M.Litt. RIBA, FRTPI, FSA. Chairman of the World Heritage Committee of ICOMOS UK
Jonathan Ball, MBE AA Dipl RIBA ACI Arb FRSA
George Oldham, RIBA Council
Owen O’Caroll, RIBA Council
Elspeth Clements, RIBA Council
Tzena James. RIBA Council
Sam Webb, RIBA Council
Kate Macintosh, RIBA, MBE
Bob Giles, RIBA
Louis Hellman, RIBA
Hubert Murray, FAIA, RIBA
Walter Hain, Architect
Ahmad Barclay, Arb.Architect, Visualising Palestine
Alan Berman, RIBA
Martin O'Shea AADipl RIBA MFPWS
David Berridge, RIBA
Paul Barham, RIBA
Gail Waldman, RIBA
Ed Hall, RIBA
Barry Wilson, RIBA
Kelvin Bland RIBA.
John Stebbing, RIBA
Jonathan Freegard MA (Cantab), Dipl.Arch., RIBA
Malcolm Hecks, RIBA
Graham B. Stephen, RIBA
John van Rooyen, RIBA
Ralph Carpenter, RIBA
Richard Scales, RIBA
Sean Macintosh, RIBA
Aun Qurashi, RIBA
Christopher Milson Teague, RIBA
Edwin Jay Rutledge, Architect
John Murray, Architect.
Catherine Macdonald, RIBA
Nicholas Wood, M.A. (Cantab) RIBA FRGS
Take Bane, RIBA
Michael Goulden, Architect
Oliver Willmore, RIBA
Glen Robinson, Architect
Thomas E Castle, Retired RIBA
Nasser Golzari, Architect, Year Tutor, Oxford Brookes
Yara Sharif, Architect, Year Tutor, Oxford Brookes
Richard Clayton, RIBA
Jenny Clayton, RIBA
Dimitris Argyros, RIBA
John R Evans, RIBA
David Yeaman, RIBA
Kim Silburn, Arb Architect
Non Council members were excluded from being allowed to make a presentation at the debate –even though APJP had worked over the years to get it motivated to RIBA Council and the UIA. But this intended speech to the Council was circulated with the papers and maps tabled for the debate:
THE INTENDED SPEECH
I’m Abe Hayeem, a long time member of the RIBA and chair of Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine(APJP). Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to speak. Past President Angela Brady and Councillor George Oldham must be commended in bringing this Motion to the RIBA Council.
APJP, backed by many influential architects and academics worldwide, is seeking international support for an ethical and just practice for our professions in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. We ask the RIBA to back the UIA resolution 13, made in 2009 condemning illegal projects built against the Geneva Conventions by Israel. Nearly five years later nothing further has been done at the UIA to take the required positive action to suspend the IAUA. It needs a body like the RIBA to lead with its prestige and its obvious links and responsibility as the country that gave birth to and promoted the establishment of the Zionist State in Palestine.
Over the last seven years, despite the above Resolution, the situation in Israel /Palestine is at its most grave and urgent, with illegal Israeli settlements expanding daily under increasing violence in the Occupied Palestinian Territory since 1967, undermining peace talks that seem to go nowhere. Israeli settlements established in the Occupied Palestinian Territory are clear violations of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention[vi] and The Hague Convention of 1907[vii] . On both sets of law and agreement on settlements, illegality is the consensus position of the international community including the European Union, the United Nations, and the United States government. This is why international action is needed, more than mere condemnation by the world powers, who it seems collude with Israel as allies.
We have approached Israeli officials and housing ministers and municipalities including most often the Israeli Association of United Architects in protest over these projects with little or no response. http://apjp.org/signatories/
The IAUA has failed to censure its members’ participation in a huge real-estate enterprise that breaches international law and considered as participating in war crimes. Israeli architects carrying out the state’s and its military agenda is almost unique. Israel’s goal remains -maximum land with minimum Palestinians. 53,000 settler homes have been built since 1993, and 15,000 Palestinian homes destroyed. Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics revealed earlier this week that 2013 was a record year in settlement construction, while 2014 has seen the beginning of construction of 2,534 housing projects - a rise of 123 percent from 2013.
As has been profusely documented by UN, Israeli and international human rights organisations, apartheid principles of separation, domination, systematic discrimination and forced transfer are enshrined in Israeli building, planning and property law, contrary to the humane ideals of architecture for all the community, and to Israel’s declared status as a democracy. These are evident in the general refusal of planning permission to Palestinians, the unrecognised villages denied services, the infrastructure of segregated roads, the Separation Wall, the suffocating matrix of control, and expropriation of Palestinian land to make way for projects exclusively for Jewish Israelis. All this under the guise of ‘security’.
Just some facts and figures:
Palestinian land has become so fragmented that a viable Palestinian State has been rendered impossible. The map of Palestine, for the indigenous Palestinians, has shrunk from being 97% of the land in 1917 to 44% in 1947 to 22% in 1967. Today there is little left that could constitute a recognizable state for the Palestinians, about 5-8% is being offered in fragmented Bantustans of what originally was Palestine.
Since 1947 Israeli ‘kibbutzim’, towns and cities have been built over the ruins of Palestinian villages, houses and heritage that were wiped from the map by a form of architectural erasure. Israeli architects and planners, knowingly or not, have become a part of this situation. Apart from the seven substandard Bedouin townships, there has never been a new city for Palestinians in Israel, while hundreds of Jewish towns, and villages have been built. Palestinians, whose population has grown seven fold, are still confined to the ‘blue-line’ restricted areas they have lived in since 1948.
After Oslo in 1993 , the West Bank was split into 3 Areas A, B and C. Area A under PA control, Area B under joint Israeli control and Area C , 62% of the West Bank, under full Israeli control, and where most of the illegal settlements are located. The West Bank is ruled under Israeli military emergency law for Palestinians whereas Israeli settlers are governed by Israeli law.
According to B’Tselem, the Israeli human rights organization, while Palestinians are generally prevented from building under a plethora of Kafkaesque laws, there are 124 official settlements for Israeli settlers in the West Bank[i] with approximately 350,000 residents in 2013. Official settlements are all authorized by the Israeli government, have approved planning schemes, and receive the same benefits and services as towns within Israel’s pre-1967 borders. Palestinians receive eight times less water than Israelis from their own aquifers. Settlement growth has more than doubled in the last decade!
In addition to official settlements there are approximately 100 “outpost” settlements located throughout the West Bank. Although even the Israeli government recognizes these communities as illegal, it provides most "outposts” with state funded protection and access to water, electricity, and other basic services.
There are an additional 14 official settlements in occupied East Jerusalem. Recent estimates indicate that as many as 300,000 settlers may live in East Jerusalem. In contrast to the restrictive planning policy followed for Palestinian communities, Israeli settlements - all located within Area C - enjoy expansive allocations of land, detailed planning, hookup to advanced infrastructure and a blind eye regarding illegal construction. According to Civil Administration data for 2000-2012, 3.5 times as many demolition orders were issued and demolitions carried out for Palestinian homes in Area C as for the case of settler homes. Since 1967, over 28,000 Palestinian homes have been demolished as illegally constructed, as they are denied planning permission to build.
Jerusalem’s Development Plan, for a ‘greater Jerusalem’ is based on reducing the indigenous Palestinian population while expanding the Jewish population. Jerusalem’s boundary has grown like an amoeba out of control - encompassing over 25 Palestinian villages, whose land is still being expropriated, leading to the protests that meet which such overpowering violence by the IDF. The controversial area E1, which connects Greater Jerusalem with Maale Adumim, Israel’s largest settler city mostly on Palestinian-owned land, is now in the process of ruthless clearance of its Bedouin Palestinians, who had moved there from the Negev in 1948. In illegally annexed East Jerusalem, Jewish settlers are being moved into the heart of Palestinian neighbourhoods like Silwan and Sheikh Jarrah, with Palestinians being evicted, with erasure of their history, to make way for grandiose projects based on 2000 year old biblical ‘history’, used as a basis to claim any home or land for Jewish settlement.
‘Judaisation’ policies in East Jerusalem, the Galilee, and the mixed cities continues, to build more Jewish-only settler neighbourhoods while preventing desperately needed housing for Palestinians. Similarly, the displacement of Bedouin Palestinians in the Negev in Israel, in the occupied West Bank and Jordan Valley continues flagrantly, despite world condemnation. Parallel to this ethnic cleansing is the government’s Prawer Plan for the Negev Bedouin -upto 70,000 will be displaced from their unrecognized villages, deprived of services , schools or clinics, their villages suffering from repeated demolitions .
It is imperative that architects internationally raise their voice not only in condemnation of these practices, as the UIA has done, but to take positive action. In solidarity with the call from Palestinian civil society suffering too long under oppression and occupation, and the denial of civil rights, we urge the RIBA not to hesitate in backing this Motion to call for the IAUA’s suspension from the UIA, due to its failure to practice in line with the UIA Accords and Resolutions and the architect’s duty to all of society. This will send a clear message that there is a price to pay for Israel’s decades long impunity in pursuing these apartheid policies, and that the humane principles of our profession cannot be ignored. One small step by the RIBA Council in supporting this motion - one landmark leap for ethics, justice and integrity for our profession. Abe Hayeem, RIBA, Chair APJP http://apjp.org/
RIBA backs Brady's Israel suspension call
by Elizabeth Hopkirk 20 March 2014 Building Design
RIBA votes for suspension of Israeli architects from international body
The RIBA has approved a motion calling for the suspension of the Israeli professional body from the International Architects Union (UIA).
The motion, proposed by Angela Brady and backed by more than 60 members including Will Alsop, Richard Murphy and Jeremy Till, was carried by 23 to 16 with 10 abstentions in a secret ballot.
Supporters at the RIBA Council debate yesterday argued that the Israeli Association of United Architects (IAUA) should be suspended until it condemns the policy of building illegal settlements in the occupied territories.
Brady, who tweeted a picture of herself wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the RIBA charter, said one of the profession’s core skills was promoting well-being.
She told Council: “Refusing this motion would send a clear message to the world at large that we as an institution turn a blind eye or by inaction support what’s going on – land grabs, forced removals, killing the state and human rights and reinforcement of apartheid.”
She added: “We must act now. This has gone on too long. We’re at a tipping point. Israel’s illegal actions mean Palestine could be wiped out.”
Speaking in support, George Oldham said: “Why Israel? It’s the only [country] where fellow member architects are directly involved in illegal acts. This is an entirely reasonable sanction.”
And James Karl Fischer said: “Not to carry this motion is to make us irrelevant.”
But other Council members argued it was the “wrong motion”, describing it as a misguided attempt to tackle an injustice.
Anthony Clerici, acknowledging that it was one of the “most difficult debates I have sat through in this room”, said it was inconsistent of the UIA to seek the suspension of one of its members and not others.
“The RIBA is already influencing for the better in many places in the world such as Libya, China, Russia, Saudi. I feel this is a better way that we should follow,” he said.
Francesca Weal said North Korea was a member of the UIA. “Don’t you think architects are designing prison camps and torture chambers there,” she said. “Angela went to China on a trade mission to a country that took over another country: Tibet. We haven’t had a motion about China. It’s a big, powerful country where members get a lot of work.”
Sumita Sinha, who has worked in the occupied territories, questioned whether expulsion would make any difference on the ground. She pointed out that the RIBA already does not validate schools of architecture in Israel/Palestine.
“China, North Korea, countries in the Middle East all have bad human rights records,” she said. “Why are we singling out one country?”
Brady accused “some people in this room” of allowing their desire to work in Israel/Palestine to influence the way they voted.
Afterwards, welcoming the result, she said: “This shows the RIBA has teeth and it’s going to use them in a positive way. This is not a boycott.
“Maybe China will be next but this is the starting point.”
RIBA member and chair of Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine, Abe Hayeem, who worked with Brady on the motion, said: “We urge the RIBA not to hesitate in backing this Motion to call for the IAUA’s suspension from the UIA, due to its failure to practice in line with the UIA Accords and Resolutions and the architect’s duty to all of society.”
'Strip RIBA of royal charter' call after Israel vote
by Eizabeth Hopkirk 25 March 2014 Building Design
Academic accuses institute of anti-semitism
The RIBA should be stripped of its royal charter unless it reverses its “shameful” vote on Israel, an architectural writer and academic is demanding.
Stephen Games, founder of the New Premises think tank, has written to RIBA president Stephen Hodder accusing the institute of anti-semitism and describing last week’s vote to suspend its Israeli counterpart as a “disgrace”.
It comes as it emerged that Sunand Prasad and Angela Brady wrote a private letter to the Israel Association of United Architects (IAUA) in February criticising it for its failure to condemn the building of “illegal” settlements.
They wrote: “Our colleagues and we are concerned that despite world condemnation of Israeli settlement building, it is continuing on a large scale and it seems no action has been taken by you or your members to resist it.”
They said professional bodies such as the RIBA and IAUA had a “duty to uphold ethical conduct”.
They received no reply so Brady decided to table the motion calling for its suspension from the International Union of Architects on the grounds that it ignored a resolution passed by the UIA in 2009 condemning building on “ethnically purified or illegally appropriated” land.
Her motion was carried by 23 votes to 16 but the result has sparked further uproar.
Games, author of a biography of Pevsner, wrote to Hodder: “For the RIBA to blame one side for censure is inappropriate. The RIBA is not a political body, it has no special insight into the dispute, nor is there anything in its constitution that should lead it to be partisan. The RIBA’s proper role is to preserve neutrality. To do otherwise is to act outside its mandate as a royal body.”
He added: “By allowing the vote against Israel to stand, the RIBA risks emerging not as a body that supports Palestinians but as a body with an in-built and unprincipled prejudice against Israel and legitimate Jewish aspiration.”
He warned that a campaign to strip the RIBA of its royal charter would be inevitable unless the vote was ditched.
“If Council truly wished to have a say only about the Middle East, it should be supporting all people in the region who are truly suffering victimisation and oppression. If the vote in Council is allowed to stand, it must therefore be followed by a huge programme of similar and more appropriate calls for suspension,” he wrote.
on the Comments page
Dear Mr Games, I refer you to comments from U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay made yesterday at the UN in Geneva:
"Despite repeated calls for Israel to cease settlement activity, ongoing settlement construction and acts of settler violence continue with devastating consequences for Palestinian civilians," said Pillay, a former judge of the International Criminal Court who has visited Israel and the territories.
Does this sound familiar? Does this sound like the RIBA are out of kilter with current calls?
You are anti peace; such untruths you spout, you sir should be ashamed of yourself, not the RIBA.
2) | 25 March 2014 10:45 amOf course the only possible reason for condemning Israel's brutal and inhuman treatment of the Palestinians is anti-Semitism. Where Israel is concerned ethics and morality have no place. The so-called Jewish Democracy's supporters have to kick up as much stink as they can - if not, God forbid, the doctors, lawyers, dentists, accountants... might feel obliged to take a moral stand too, and then who knows, the settler regime might have to return some of the land and water resources and natural gas resources it has stolen and even stop using the West Bank as a dumping ground for its polluting industries. Well done Angela, well done RIBA. Stand firm
What a pallaver! This all indicates that the RIBA was doing the right and professional thing in upholding the values and ethics of our profession in architecture. Since when is architecture not involved with politics? It is almost unique in Israel, where right from the first steps in colonial outposts in the early 1900s, architects were designing and building the armed settlements in Palestine as they do today in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Since Britain, during the mandate of Palestine supported and helped create the Zionist State, it is surely significant that it is the RIBA that has made a hugely symbolic and justified stand that in the smallest way acknowledges what has resulted in a terrible injustice for the indigenous Palestinians. New Premises say they act as agents and consultants to promote issues “that need public attention” and yet where there is one that embodies the promotion of ethics and taking action on it as the RIBA remarkably has done –their mask of neutrality slips away –even as they are demanding that the RIBA remains neutral. Desmond Tutu’s well known quote (echoing Martin Luther King) springs to mind- “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”
This ignorant outburst and its intimidatory posture are being used as a deliberate policy known as ‘Lawfare” to defend and obfuscate Israel's continuing war crimes, by accusing anyone who takes any action on it as "singling out Israel" with the accusation of anti-Semitism as the lowest form of accusations to negate any action at all. Suddenly, the RIBA has to take action on every aspect of human rights infringements everywhere in the world before it raises the question of the injustices linked to architecture in one of the longest occupations in modern times.
This really takes the cake- “the RIBA risks emerging not as a body that supports Palestinians but as a body with an in-built and unprincipled prejudice against Israel and legitimate Jewish aspiration.” That is exactly what the RIBA is doing –supporting the oppressed Palestinians who are being driven out of their land by the building of settlements planned and designed by Israeli architects (unfortunate that they happen to be Jewish!). Is legitimate Jewish aspiration the supporting of Israel’s continuing settlement expansion? It certainly is not mine and a large body of ethically minded Jews! This is an action to uphold professional ethics and UIA Accords –and the RIBA and RIAS are doing exactly what a professional association does, act against gross professional misconduct on an international stage. This will always be seen as a landmark in professional associations standing up for humanity , justice and ethics in our work.
This apoplectic and irrational reaction must just be resisted in a cool, calm and collected way. The greater and more exaggerated the reaction, the more it indicates the RIBA has done the right thing.
from Chair, Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine
Hear hear Abe Hayeem. As a British Jewish architect who has been to west Jerusalem, east Jerusalem and the West Bank, I agree with what you have written. I have always found the tendency to conflate criticism of Israeli policy with anti-Semitism to be highly offensive. I support this motion; you will have to take my word that I am not anti-Semitic.
Abe, do you think that RIBA should also seek a ban on the US for destruction of built environment in Iraq? And banning the Chinese for dam building in Tibet.
Perhaps RIBA should seek to ban itself for hundreds of years of colonial development an suppression of local communities.
RIBA should only act on behalf of its members, they haven't even bothered to ask those who pay the committees costs. This item was not in anyones manifesto, so should be agreed on by RIBA members before it goes to committee. Or is that too democratic for you?